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Warrior Wishes Come True At Wrigley Field!

In the past week my dad has been on the road making wishes come true at The Lightning, Rays, Heat, Marlins & last night at the first ever Braves game in their new stadium, SunTrust Park!

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It’s been a wild week, but nothing like the craziness of today.  You see, today is a historic day that will go down in the history of Operation Warrior Wishes!  For the first time ever, we are making wishes come true at 4 games in 1 day!  A quadruple header!  

And not only is it 4 games in one day, the 4 venues are incredible – Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, the United Center & the brand new SunTrust Park!  

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It all started this afternoon at Wrigley field, where the Pittsburgh Pirates squared off against the World Champion Chicago Cubs.  

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Our friend and former guest Matt Killian nominated his battle buddy, Army Sgt Joshua Nelson, for this experience. Sgt Nelson is still an active member in the Army National Guard. He has already served for 6 years and recently reenlisted for another 6.  He is a lifelong Cubs fan who has never been to Wrigley field.  Needless to say he was extremely excited for the opportunity!  

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SGT Nelson drove to Chicago from Pittsburgh with his buddy, who is Pirates fan.  Seeing that the Cubs were playing the Pirates, it was the perfect game for them to attend.  

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Upon their arrival in Chicago, SGT Nelson & his buddy stopped by my house to pick up the tickets and a few New Era Caps for the game.  I also gave them some Chicago “tips” telling them to make sure to eat at Portillos and grab a Lou Malnatis deep dish pizza before heading back home.  

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Tickets for this game sold out quickly because they were giving away mini World Series trophies to the first 10,000 fans.  Luckily I was able to snag a few Bleacher seats when they went on sale in February.  If you have never been to Wrigley, the Bleachers are the best way to go!

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The game could not have been any better for a couple guys who wanted to see a road trip rivalry game between their 2 teams.  The Pirates & Cubs battled back and forth the entire game. In the end, the Pirates outlasted the Cubs for an 8-7 victory.  

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We want to thank New Era for providing the Caps & Sgt Matt Killian for nominating our warrior for today’s game.  

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

Most importantly we want to thank both Sgt Killian & Sgt Josh Nelson, for their service & sacrifices to our country.  It’s appreciated, has not gone unnoticed & it will never be forgotten!

Stay tuned for game 2 of our Quadruple headed as the first pitch in Boston is about to be thrown out!

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Nominate your Hero for an upcoming game on our “Battlefields to Ballfields” mission.  

2017 Battlefields To Ballfields Schedule

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WWII Warrior Wishes Come True At The World Series!

Having the opportunity to see your favorite team win a championship is often a once in a lifetime experience.  Especially if you’re a Chicago Cubs or Cleveland Indians fan.  

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There are probably not any Cubs fans in the world who can honestly say they have witnessed a World Series championship.  The last time they won was in 1908, 108 years ago!  To put this in perspective, Tickets to the game cost $1 each, which was expensive considering the average worker only made only $200-$400 per year!   In 1908 the population of Las Vegas Nevada was 30, only 8% of households had telephones & the maximum speed limit in most cities was only 10 miles per hour!  It’s amazing how the times have changed!

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The Cubs did manage to make it to the World Series in 1945, but lost to the Tigers in 7 games.  

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Cleveland Indians fans have waited 68 years to see their team hoist the Commissioners trophy.  They too have been to the World Series since their last championship, but lost the world series in 1954, 1995 & 1997.

With both teams playing agains each other in the 2016 World Series, we made the decision to seek out a WWII veteran who has waited their entire life to see the Cubs or Indians win a World Series Title & be a part of history!

Meet Marine CPL Peter Scaffidi.  

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CPL Scaffidi was born and raised in Cleveland.  He grew up an Indians fan.  At the age of 17 he joined the United States Marine Corp & proudly served our country from 1943-1946 in World War II. While the Cubs competed for the championship in 1945, CPL Scaffidi was preparing to serve as a good will ambassador in occupied Nagasaki, Japan, where he remained for 6 months after the war until he was honorably discharged, as a Corporal, in May, 1946.  Peter eventually moved to Chicago in 1963.  He quickly became a Cubs fan & has been cheering them on for more than 50 years!

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CPL Scaffidi was nominated to us by his daughter.  She said it would be a dream of a lifetime to her dad watch his 2 favorite teams play against each other in the World Series!  

Operation Warrior Wishes was about to make this WWII Warriors’ dream a reality!  

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Ticket prices in Chicago were fetching more than $2000 each just for a standing room only ticket.  Therefore, we looked to Cleveland and were able to find 2 tickets in the 10th row of the bleachers for less than $1k each!  It worked out perfectly as CPL Scaffidi was originally from Cleveland & was going to go “home” to see the game!

Ralph, one of our directors, joined us on this mission.  I was scheduled to work early Thursday morning & knew I would need help driving and hosting CPL Scaffidi.  My dad would have joined us, but he is busy on with our 2016 “All32in17 mission, so we dropped my him off at the airport to catch his flight to Nashville to make warrior wishes come true at the Thursday night Titans game, on the way to Cleveland. 

Xander also tagged along to give mommy some time to relax with baby Quinn.  

We all met up with CPL Scaffidi & his family at the Cubs team hotel. Unfortunately, we pulled up as their team bus pulled out to take the players to the stadium.  There is no doubt in my mind that the players would have stopped to thank this WWII veteran for his service as they boarded the bus, it’s too bad we missed them…

Xander, Ralph & myself walked from tower station to the stadium, while CPL Scaffidi drove with his family.  Due to heavy traffic, we beat them to the stadium & attempted to exchange our 10th row tickets for an accessible seat to accommodate the warrior who was in a wheel chair.  With ticket prices soaring, we never expected to have the opportunity to get into the game.  Ralph & I just planned to make sure CPL Scaffidi was able to get into the stadium with no issues and we were going to stand outside with Xander or find a restaurant to watch the game at.  But when we attempted to trade out the tickets we asked if there were any tickets available.  We got lucky and we’re able to buy standing room only tickets at the box office for $100!  I made sure to buy a ticket for CPL Scaffidi’s daughter and and tickets for us.

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Thankfully we were able to get in since they would not allow me to trade out the tickets for ADA seats outside the stadium.  After we went in I immediately made my way to customer service to trade out the seats and was eventually able to get Peter & his family great seats down the 3rd base line.

Needless to say, this WWII warrior took it all in & had the experience of a lifetime!  

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The Cubs had lost game 1 and had yet to score in the World Series. That all changed quickly as scored quickly in the first inning and never looked back.  The Cubs beat the Indians by the score of 5-1 & won their first World Series game in 71 years!

It was an absolute honor to have the opportunity to host CPL Scaffidi and make this Warrior’s wish come true at the World Series!  

The Indians went on to win the following 2 games to take a 3-1 series lead, but the Cubs fought their way back and never gave up!  They ultimately won their first World Series Title in 108 years and officially broke the curse!  We can’t wait to get CPL Scaffidi his 2016 World Series Champions Cap!  

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Operation Warrior Wishes would like to take a minute to thank all of our supporters across the country.  From those who have donated tickets, meals, money & their time.  You are all the reason we have the opportunity to put smiles on the faces of all these Warriors and we seriously couldn’t have made it all possible without you!  THANK YOU!!!

TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

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WWII Warrior Wishes Come True At Wrigley Field

It was an honor to host WWII Warrior SGT Dominic Errichiello at the Chicago Cubs Game.  THIS IS THE YEAR!

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Check Back Soon For More Details.

2016 ALL32IN17 Schedule

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Contact Craig for more information about the mission (630) 339-6714

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The Marlins Make Warrior Wishes Come True!

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Typically when my dad is in Miami, he sleeps at the luxurious “airport hotel.”  So after making Warrior Wishes come true at yesterday’s game, that’s where he headed.  Since it wasan early 4:10 game, it gave him enough time to get some work done at Margaritaville in the airport before going to sleep. However,  my dad said it was FREEZING at the airport, so he took advantage of beautiful Miami evening and walked out front of the airport to sleep on a park bench.  If you’re wondering, he said it was much more comfortable than the overnight bus…

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When the Metrobus opened at 7am, my dad headed over to Whole Foods to meet today’s Gold Star families. Interestly both guests today were the mother and brother of a fallen hero.

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Beth and Ilan Agami were first to arrive – their son Army Spc Daniel Agami made the ultimate sacrifice in November of 2007. We had a few minutes to get to know each other, and learn about Daniel, before the family of Army PFC Marius Ferrero arrived.  

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Marius, AKA Mario, also made the ultimate sacrifice in 2007 and his brother Manny was our guest for Dolphins game in 2013. Manny runs a big softball tournament in honor of his brother every October here in Miami.  This time Manny brought along his mom, Maribella, and 3 year old son Manny III – it was nice to have 3 generations of family honoring their fallen hero.

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Whole Foods in Miami provided a delicious breakfast before we made a 2 mile drive down the street to Marlins Park. For the 2nd straight day, it was 95 degrees with an abundance of sunshine.  A Beatiful day for a ballgame!  

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The Ferrero’s were big Marlins fans and attend a few games every year, while it this was the Agami’s first Marlins game ever. Both families had a great time watching the Marlins beat up on our hometown Cubbies 6-1.  

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The marlins went above and beyond to help us honor the legacy of these fallen heroes.  They provided tickets to the families & an unforgettable Marlins experience.

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After the game, Manny and his family gave my dad a ride to the airport, no, we wasnt flying anywhere, just going there to sleep again… On the way there, Manny informed him about an Honor Wall for all of the fallen heroes from Miami area – including his brother. Manny personally showed him the wall and they spent a few minutes honoring his brother together, they also noticed that Daniel Agami’s name was on the wall too.  After my dad thanked Manny one last time for the ride and said goodbye, he noticed 6 more families that we had previously hosted on the wall. 

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After reflecting on the sacrifices of all those brave men & women, my dad did a little work and made his way back to the park bench outside for the 2nd straight night of sleeping under the stars.

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank the Miami Marlins for providing an awesome experience at the game, Whole Foods for breakfast and New Era Cap for the Marlins caps. But most of all THANK YOU  to the families of our fallen heroes for their service and sacrifice to our country.

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

My dad will be on a 6am bus tomorrow morning to Tampa to make Warrior Wishes come true at the Rays game!  Stay Tuned to see if he actually sleeps in a bed tomorrow…

MEET THE WARRIORS 

ARMY SPC DANIEL AGAMI

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Daniel Agami was born on January 02, 1982 and made the ultimate sacrifice defending our country on June 21, 2007 at the age of 25. SPC Daniel Jay Agami, of C CO, 1-26 IN, was killed in action due to an IED attack while on patrol in northern Baghdad, Iraq on June 21, 2007. 

On behalf of President George W. Bush, Daniel’s family was presented with multiple medals of honor including The Purple Heart, The Bronze Star, The Good Conduct Medal, The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, The Iraqi Campaign Medal and The Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Daniel was also posthumously promoted from Private First Class to the rank of Specialist.

They called him their beloved son. The military called him great promotional material and planned to have him appear in an advertising campaign. Because of his adherence to his faith, his fellow infantrymen affectionately called him “G.I. Jew.”

“He felt a responsibility to his country,” said his father, Itzhak Agami.

“He was totally patriotic,” said his mother, Beth Agami.

Lt. Col. Doug Maddox, the Army’s casualty assistance officer, called Agami an “exemplary soldier.”

Born in Ohio, Agami came to South Florida with his family when he was 4 and lived in several cities in Broward, including Coconut Creek, Margate and, most recently, Coral Springs and Parkland. He attended the Hebrew Academy Community School, in Margate.

He told his parents how in the Army, many of his comrades from the Midwest had never met a Jew.

In a speech to Chabad-Lubavitch of Greater Boynton Beach when he visited home during Passover, he told congregants how he went to Fort Benning, Ga., for basic training and quickly found that “many meals involved pork,” which Jews who keep kosher are not allowed to eat.

“But the drill sergeant was very accommodating to me,” he added.

Agami said he faced “bloody battles with insurgents. I go on daily or nightly missions raiding Iraqi homes to find weapons and bombs. … The deaths of my friends have been traumatic. I lost six of my closest friends. … America fights for freedom and survival for the souls of the entire world.”

Learn more about SPC Agami & his legacy HERE.  We were honored to have had the opportunity to host his parents at the Marlins game and help his legacy live on.  Never Forgotten!

ARMY PFC MARIUS FERRERO

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ARMY PFC “Mario” Leonardo Ferrero is remembered as someone who was very self-less, always helping others. His brother says he Had a very BIG Heart & Adored his family.

At the young age of 8 Mario & Manuel lost their father. Their grandfather stepped in and acted as a father figure to them. He thought them at a young age the importance of helping others.

Manuel says Mario joining the Army was inevitable.  “It made perfect sense for him to join our forces and help others. It was his calling.”

Mario joined the Army in early 2007. He had only been out of basic training less than 6 months before He was deployed to Iraq and was only there for 2 weeks when he learned his grandfather passed away. The Army gave Him 2 weeks leave to come home and be with his family and say good bye to his grandfather. After the 2 weeks Mario returned to his base in Iraq around 11pm local time & called his grandmother to let her know he was safe. The very next morning, on November 18th 2007, Mario was killed in action in along with 2 other soldiers in an IED explosion on the outskirts of Baqubah, Iraq.

Operation Warrior Wishes was proud to keep this warriors legacy alive as we hosted his family at the Marlins game in his honor. Mario’s legacy also lives on today thru a Non-Profit organization, set up by his brother, called “MARIO’s SOLDIERS.”  Mario’s Soldiers was set up to focus on humanitarian efforts in honor of PFC Marius L. Ferrero.

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Dont forget to nominate your hero for an upcoming game on our Battlefields to Ballfields mission!

Click here for more information.

2016 BATTLEFIELDS TO BALLFIELDS SCHEDULE

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Our “PALS” Make Warrior Wishes Come True At Wrigley Field!

Over the past 10 days, my dad has made warrior wishes come true at 12 Major League Baseball games in 10 different cities.  He kicked off this leg of our Battlefields to Ballfields mission in Cincinnati, then headed north with our newest board member Bill to Detroit.  From there he took cheap busses all across the east coast making stops in Pittsburgh, New York (Yankees), Boston, New York (Mets) Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia & Cleveland.  

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Needless to say, my dad was happy to be home in Chicago to complete this leg of our Battlefields to Ballfields Tour at Wrigley Field to make Warrior Wishes come true for the 13th game in 11 days!

This was our 3rd Warrior Wish in which we partnered up with our “PALS”(Patient Airlift Services) to fly 4 warriors from New York to Chicago for their first game ever at the world famous Wrigley Field, an experience that is probably on every sports fan’s bucket list.

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Pilot Joe Howley of PALS flew Marine James Litwinowicz and Army SGT Donald Schultze, SGT Johnny DeMarco and SGT Greg Hacke into Chicago for an overnight stay and the opportunity to watch the best team in baseball, the Chicago Cubs.

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We couldn’t let the Warriors come to Chicago without having a slice of authentic Chicago style deep dish pizza, so my dad set up reservations for them at the Giordanos near Midway airport, and then met everyone for breakfast the next morning at the Holiday Inn where they stayed.

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It was a great mix of warriors as each of the 4 recipients was a nominated by a different military organization that Operation Warrior Wishes has worked with in the past.

After breakfast, Jim Zangrilli who is also a big military supporter in Chicago area, drove everyone down to “The Friendly Confines” AKA Wrigley Field.  The warriors had the opportunity of a lifetime, thanks to “PALS,” to sit In the dugout, watch batting practice on the field, meet some of the players and get this awesome picture around the Cubs on-deck circle.  

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The Cubs have not won a World Series in over 100 years.  As a Chicagoan & a life long Cubs fan, it’s been brutal.  But this year there is a buzz around the Cubs like never before.  Their offense is scoring runs & their pitchers have shut down opposing hitters all season long. Dexter Fowler & Anthony Rizzo gave the Warriors plenty to cheer about and didn’t let the Warriors down.  Both players homered in the game & the “North siders” beat the D-Backs 5-3. 

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The warriors snapped a picture in front of the iconic Wrigley Field Marquis before grabbing a quick bite to eat and then headed back to the airport for their PALS flight home.

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A big THANK YOU goes out to pilot Joe Howley for flying the guys in, as well as Eileen and Karen at PALS for partnering up with us to make these warrior wishes come true.  We also want to thank Jim Zangrilli for the ground transportation to and from the game, New Era Cap for providing Cubs Caps to the Warriors & thanks to the Chicago Cubs organization for the incredible experience.  The Cubs have always been very big supporters of our military, and you may remember our first year when they set up a “surprise” in the Cubs locker room for our 3 Warrior Wishes nominations, providing them all with personalized jerseys.  

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TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!

But most importantly , THANK YOU to our warriors- James, Donald , Johnny and Greg for their service & Sacrifices.

My dad will be taking the next few weeks off to catch up on lost sleep, spend time with family and regroup before heading out June 23rd for the south east leg of our Battlefields to Ballfields mission.  Stay tuned for details!

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www.WarriorWishes.org

Dont forget to nominate your hero for an upcoming game on our Battlefields to Ballfields mission!

Click here for more information.

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2016 “Battlefields to Ballfields” Schedule Released!

After a successful 2015 “All32in17” mission completed, we are proud to announce our upcoming schedule for our 2016 “Battlefields to Ballfields” Mission.   We are currently accepting nominations.

NOMINATE YOUR HERO!

Operation Warrior Wishes would like to thank everyone for their support and look forward to seeing you all on the road this summer as we honor our Nations’ Heroes from the “Battlefields to the Ballfields”

2016 BATTLEFIELDS TO BALLFIELDS SCHEDULE